What do School Governors do?
The role of the school governor is demanding but very rewarding and is an important way for people to give something back to their local community. As we are part of Warrington Primary Academy Trust, we are known as the Local Governing Committee.
We are responsible for working with the school to ensure that it delivers a high quality of education for all our children. Together with the Executive head teacher and Head of School, who are responsible for day-to-day management, we support the school's founding and core principles, core values and policies, ensuring that statutory responsibilities are met. We provide both support and challenge.
The government regards school governors as a vital part of the leadership of their school. Our work is reported on in every Ofsted inspection report for this school.
The purpose of governance is to provide confident, strategic leadership and to create robust accountability, oversight and assurance for educational and financial performance.
The 4 core functions of the governing committee are:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
- Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the school, its pupils and the performance management of staff
- Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and ensuring money is well spent
- Ensuring decisions consider the views and experiences of stakeholders (pupils, parents, staff and the community).
With the Executive Headteacher, the local governing committee works to ensure high standards of achievement for all children in school by:
- Living by the guiding principle of the Academy Trust, owning our values of resilience, pioneering and putting the children first
- Supporting the Executive Headteacher and Head of School, holding them to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils
- Overseeing curriculum provision as well as academic attainment
- Overseeing the financial performance of the school, feeding back to Trust and making sure its money is well spent
- Monitoring of statutory and school level policies
- Representing the view of the school and its stakeholders to the Trust
- Scrutinising detailed information on pupil progress and attainment and, if necessary, challenging assumptions
- Being aware of, and acting within our Trust’s strategic work-streams, forged from our schools, produced by analysing the outputs from the collective school improvement plans and MAT capacity framework document from each of the academy schools
- Carrying out panel work when required
- Contributing to the recruitment and performance management of staff.
In recent years, the Governing Committee has worked with the Headteacher and the staff to research thoroughly and make the decision to become an Academy and join Warrington Primary Trust for the benefit of our current and future children. We embrace the founding principle, “Together we forge our tomorrows,” together with the guiding principle, “To deliver a first-class education through partnership, innovation, school improvement and accountability,” alongside the core values of children first, resilience and pioneering.
Developing the strength of our Senior Leadership Team has also been a recent priority and Governors were involved in the appointment of many of the key staff including the Head of School, the School Business Manager and the Early Years Lead. We have also supported the school through a period of restructure to ensure financial stability and sustainability now and in the future.
As a Governing Committee, we worked alongside our staff to support the children through the last two years of educational turmoil caused by the Covid pandemic, minimising disruption and maximising learning potential wherever possible. As a result, our children’s attainment at Year 6 this year are above both local and national results.
We have high aspirations for all the children of our school aiming for each one to be academically, socially and personally ready for the next stage in their school life and for their future. In the current academic year (2023 – 2024), our priorities will continue to centre around attendance and our curriculum offer, embedding and developing the cultural capital opportunities we offer, promoting high quality first teaching through the continuous professional development offered to our teachers and addressing any issues remaining from the impact of the Covid pandemic. Promoting the personal development and wellbeing of our children is highly important to us together with providing the best possible start for our youngest children.
Who can be a school governor?
Unless you wish to stand as a parent governor, it is not necessary to have children at the school to be a governor. However, you do have to be over 18, and complete a formal check for your suitability to be within a school. No specific qualifications are required of governors but there are certain expectations, which are covered in our Code of Conduct. What is important is that governors have energy, enthusiasm, time and a real desire to help to provide children with the best possible education.
Governors come from all sections of the community, and all walks of life. They can be parents, staff at the school, residents in the locality, representatives of local churches or businesses or committed people with particular skills. It is important that governors can work as part of a team and can give commitment to the school. Ideally, they will have some form of competence or skill to offer to the Governing Committee, which will help it in its work.
The Governing Committee elects its Chair and Vice-Chair annually.
Term of office and meetings
The term of office for a school governor is normally four years, which can be extended when the period is up. At this school we hold Full Governing Committee Meetings every half term. In the first half of the term, the meeting’s main focus is on Finance, Personnel, Premises and Health and Safety. Standards and the Curriculum are the main features of the meeting in the second half of each term. Some governors take on special oversight duties, such as Early Years, Special Educational Needs, and Safeguarding for instance. This year we are also working within smaller groups to focus on a particular aspect of the school’s work. Most governors usually attend events or visit classes in the school within the academic year. They are also invited to special occasions such as assemblies, sports days, plays and presentations.
Induction for new school governors
New governors are invited to see the work of the school, without commitment, before deciding whether to sign up to the role. An induction course, offered by the Warrington Primary Academy Trust and the Borough Council helps to introduce them to the role. All Governors participate in on-line learning together with a range of courses and other learning opportunities to help them make a knowledgeable and positive difference to their governing role.
Established governors are also offered a range of training courses which can be booked via the school free of charge.
If you would like to become a Governor
The school regularly recruits parent governors to join the Governing Committee. If you would like to stand, please contact the school office or contact WPAT Governance Officer, Ashley Babbs on firstname.lastname@example.org